SolarPower Europe and the European Association for Electrical Contractors (AIE) announce new cooperation agreement to power Europe's energy future

By: Alyssa Pek, Communications Assistant

On the 7 March, SolarPower Europe and the European Association for Electrical Contractors (AIE) announced that they will begin a new cooperation agreement which will steer Europe's energy future in a more efficient and secure direction.

For over 60 years, the AIE has been representing the interests of electrical installers of 15 different countries at the EU-level. The AIE works as a network to exchange information and best practices for electrical contractors between its members and to inform policy makers to ensure all electricity is installed safely and efficiently in Europe.

James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe praised this new cooperation saying, "SolarPower Europe has worked with AIE in the past on key issues such as the Small is Beautiful, to promote rooftop solar installations and the campaign to remove trade duties from solar panels. With this new cooperation, we can work even closer on other important issues that impact the electricity sector - from innovative technology development to safe installations. This cooperation brings together the solar industry and electric installers and will enhance both organisations".

Thomas Carlsson, President of AIE, commented, "together, AIE and SolarPower Europe represent over 1,4 million workers and 155 billion euros total turnover in Europe. This constitutes a significant part of the total energy value chain in Europe, which means that this cooperation will result in a more coordinated approach between the solar industry and the electric installers in Europe. This cooperation will help our organisations deliver a boost for business opportunities and job creation in Europe".

"Both associations work on common issues such as the European Buildings Performance Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive and electricity market design. Working together, we will be able to access a greater pool of knowledge and expertise to better inform policy makers and industry leaders to develop a more efficient framework to ensure a clean and secure energy future for all Europeans" said Christian Westermeier, President of SolarPower Europe.

AIE and SolarPower Europe will bring forward common positions on the main European policy issues in the coming weeks and months, to underline the enhanced relationship between electrical installers and the solar industry in Europe today. You can also catch this new cooperation in action at our SolarPower Summit 2018, where AIE's new Secretary General will be speaking on the EU Focus panel 'Small is Beautiful: what small solar installations mean to Europe'.

To learn more about AIE, visit their webpage here.